Ribbon-Cutting Set Nov. 13 to Mark Completion of 50th Indian River Lagoon Restoration Project
By Space Coast Daily // November 4, 2021
project consists of wet retention/detention ponds, rain gardens and a baffle box
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – County, state and City of Melbourne officials will mark the completion of the $2.6 million Sherwood Park Stormwater Project – the 50th project of the Save Our Indian River Lagoon restoration program – with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 13, at Sherwood Park in Melbourne.
The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. at the park, located at 2100 Robinhood Drive in Melbourne.
The project, consisting of wet retention/detention ponds, rain gardens and a baffle box, was completed through a partnership with multiple agencies and funding from the City of Melbourne Stormwater Utility, $1.8 million; Save Our Indian River Lagoon (SOIRL) half-cent sales tax trust fund, $392,108; the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, $400,000; and Space Coast Association of Realtors, $25,000.
The Sherwood Park sub-basin discharges to the Indian River Lagoon via Otter Creek. The Sherwood Park Stormwater Project provides treatment for an area of mostly untreated single-family homes and apartments.
The City of Melbourne’s 2013 Master Plan identified the project as only a pond that was projected to remove 1,376 pounds of nitrogen.
After a design modification to incorporate a baffle box, ponds, and rain gardens, the project is anticipated to yield a total nitrogen reduction of 3,214 pounds per year and total phosphorus by about 879 pounds per year.
High levels of nitrogen and phosphorous that leak from septic tanks or other sources of pollutants can deplete oxygen levels in the river and cause algae blooms that kill seagrasses.
The (SOIRL) Citizen Oversight Committee notified the City that the Sherwood Park Water Quality project was eligible to receive funding from the SOIRL trust fund in the amount of $392,108.
The Save Our Indian River Lagoon Project Cost-Share Funding Interlocal Agreement between Brevard County and the City of Melbourne was approved by City Council in July 2020.
In 2016, Brevard County voters passed a half-cent sales tax to benefit lagoon health and restoration from Mims to Micco, and including the mainland, Merritt Island and the Barrier Island.
The SOIRL Program was created to prioritize and implement projects to improve health, productivity, aesthetic appeal, and economic value of the lagoon.
Projects are designed to reduce pollution and nutrient loading to the lagoon, remove accumulated muck, restore key points of the lagoon ecosystem and respond to changing conditions and information.
The SOIRL program is removing and preventing millions of pounds of nutrients from entering the lagoon by uniting the efforts of county residents, businesses, organizations and government to “Save Our Lagoon.”
Since its inception, SOIRL funding has been utilized toward a variety of important restoration projects designed to prevent thousands of pounds of pollutants from reaching the lagoon.
Among projects include 43 septic upgrades, septic tanks (32 quick connects and 360 through septic to sewer projects,) and shoreline protection that includes 27,290 square feet with oysters and 3,753 linear feet of planted vegetation.
The Sherwood Park Stormwater Project marks the official completion of the 50th SOIRL project to date.